Long Island saw its first recreational marijuana store open in Farmingdale last month. It understandably raises the question of many eager — or anxious — residents as to when a cannabis store will open near them.
We commend our local towns for taking reasonable steps to ensure that marijuana sales impact our quality of life as little as possible. While Smithtown and Huntington have opted out, Brookhaven voted to allow sales, with stringent zoning restrictions, as have Babylon, Riverhead and Southampton.
Cannabis sales can work in our community, but only if each of us stops and thinks about how our actions impact others. Smoking a joint on the beach or on a nature trail fills the air with the smell of cannabis, which is unpleasant. Those who choose to consume cannabis should keep the smoking to their homes, be considerate of neighbors and always be responsible when driving.
We remind parents and other adults to keep their cannabis products secure and out of the hands of children, as THC is proven to induce anxiety, paranoia and other harmful effects in minors.
We also must be considerate, taking steps to ensure we are not impacting each other’s quality of life. As Brookhaven Councilmember Jonathan Kornreich (D-Stony Brook) described in a story in our papers this week, people are already contacting the town to ask for exemptions to the strict zoning ordinance surrounding cannabis.
The rules and regulations are there for a reason, and we agree with Kornreich in being hesitant to grant exemptions. We understand that people want to make a living. Yet in trying to skate around the rules at such an early stage of legalization, it shows a lack of consideration to the rest of the community.
We hope all of our community members reflect on our behaviors surrounding cannabis, and not forget there is enforcement for those who break the rules. They are there for a reason. Let’s follow them.